Petaluma Hills Brewing Company has launched a new program named the ‘Homebroots’ program. Homebroots is short for homebrew roots and is a reminder to Petaluma Hills owner JJ Jay of his homebrewing days dating back to 1991. In those days, brewing was a hobby for JJ.

Now years later, you will find JJ’s homebrew kit at Petaluma Hills. It is currently used as their pilot brewery where JJ is able to experiment with new recipes at a fraction of the cost a ten barrel batch would cost.

JJ has become a mentor for aspiring home brewers. He makes himself accessible and shares his experience and gives out pointers to patrons who make the Petaluma Hills taproom a regular stop. JJ will give home brewers who make exceptional home brews an opportunity to brew at the brewery and share with others in the taproom. He hasn’t exactly figured out how participants of the homebroots program will be selected going forward, but the first batch has been brewed and will debut at the taproom on Thursday, March 31st.

The homebrewers selected to kick off this new program are Jon Conte and Craig Eshe. Together, friends and family know them as Hop Labs Brewing. Jon and Craig are working on refining their beer recipes and hope to one day start their own brewery. They were eager and excited for the opportunity to brew with JJ at Petaluma Hills.

A few weeks back Craig and I sat and spoke over a couple beers. We talked about both having babies on the way. My baby was born on March 15th and just celebrated two weeks of life. Craig’s baby is the brewery he and Jon dream of bringing to life sometime in the near future. I am honored Hop Labs has decided to name the brew in honor of my daughter and with their dream in mind. Hops Labs and JJ will be at the taproom on Thursday evening and welcome you to join them for a pint of Baby On the Way IPA.

-Peter Lopez Jr.